To tow boats. The world’s (temporarily) largest container ship, the “CMA CGM Marco Polo,” recently sailed into Hamburg with the tide. It had to be turned and moved into place rather quickly before the tidewater receded, and only a quarter of its 16,000-container capacity (in TEU, twenty-foot-equivalent units) could be shifted; advocates for deepening the Elbe river are using the visit as a PR action.

Larger container ships (18,000 TEU) are currently under construction in Korea for Maersk, and will ply the seas in 2013.

(Boog ZEEE ren.)


“Loss of mud flats.” One of many environmental concerns cited in a recent environmentalist lawsuit to halt the project to deepen the shipping channel in the Elbe river between Hamburg and the sea. Litigation of the dispute will take years, so in order to keep irreversible faits accomplis from being created in the interim, the court has temporarily stopped the dredging. Hamburg is 130 kilometers from the ocean and still trying to compete with Rotterdam.

The plaintiffs say previous deepening of the Elbe’s shipping channel caused visible environmental damage that included loss of mud flats, increased current, lack of oxygen and loss of habitat.

(VOTT fer loose t.)

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